Music Reviews



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Artist: FGFC820 (@)
Title: Urban Audio Warfare
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Before some people start to argue that NoiTekk has just signed another new Hellektro act hailing out of the United States, well, be fair and give this item some spins, you may would be surprised. FGFC820 is the new project of the internationally renowned DJ Rexx Arcana, who could also gain some attention with his BRUDERSCHAFT project, signed to the Belgium Alfa-Matrix label. His partner for this new Harsh EBM project is Dräcos, also known for some DJ activities around New York. So weÄôll have two guys heavily placed and inspired by different styles of music and somehow Äì better said here and there Äì some of these influences can be heard on this debut album. Of course, NoiTekk has become a trademark for Harsh EBM/Hellektro music and the supporting troopers will find with ÄúPerfect WarÄù, ÄúSocietyÄù and ÄúG.B.A.Äù enough assaulting tracks to storm some dancefloors. The float of the album got nicely interrupted by some ÄúResolutionÄù tracks Äì instrumental pieces which follow the idea of their in-official debut ÄúThe Hanging Garden EPÄù, but worth to check out. Also a fine prove, that old-school EBM and the newer Hellektro attitude can unite ver well is the outstanding track ÄúVictimÄù. NEP-like bass line meets old-X MARKS-like vocal performance meets PAINBASTARD-like hammering kick and snare work Äì a real masterpiece. Also if NoiTekk for someoneÄôs taste has signed in the past year 1 or 2 newcomer acts too much, I canÄôt really find any flaws also for this edition. What counts for DISTORTED MEMORY, DIE SEKTOR or LIFE CRIED counts also here: a constant good and harsh Electro/EBM/Industrial album which rather intensifies the supremacy of the label NoiTekk for this genre.

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Artist: ULTRAPHALLUS (@)
Title: presents lungville
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Despite the name this band has nothing to share with glorious Revolting Cocks, but they both have a guitar driven rock DNA and the explicit reference to "it" in the band’s name. This belgian combo is really into rock, hard rock to say it all, and when the display skips to the second track their natural attitudes come quite blatant. Hard space rock a while ago somebody would have written off as stoner/noise therefore if you are in it for the goddamnit bang, sure they'll give it to you since the recording has a good profile too. Hard pounding reminiscences of the Melvins, but without the same schizoid way of writing (but honestly it's hard to write in such a way!), the vocals also reminded me of a less punky adaptation of some Karp releases. Heavy breath like a mammoth, but even if they're good players, it still lack of something to emerge... who knows perhaps it's just a matter of time. After Southern Lord has become trendy I think Ultraphallus could sell quite well since the music they play is not so far from that area. Not bad at all, but it makes you think to the fact St. Vitus, Sleep or Cathedral were ahead in the future.
Artist: Sophya (@)
Title: Third Wish
Format: CD
Label: Mutantjasz (@)
Rated: *****
Darkwave Israel band Sophya is back with their release that's amazing, impressive, and ripe enchanting. After releasing two cds for Clan of Xymox Ronny Moorings label Stitching Xymox, the band signed with Mutantjasz Records owned by legendary Dutch post-punk band members of Mecano in Holland. "Third Wish" have the more common trappings of great songwriting and go straight to its cerebral and sensual core. This cd is splendid brilliant with deeply emotional female and male vocals, smooth and nice laidback basslines, simple crystal clear synthesizers and electronic melodies with guitar layers that will tranquilize you like a drug. The overall feeling of the cd is its essence of beauty paralleling that of the best recording and production quality for 2007. Sophya can be described as the most original Middle Eastern/European trio band around who can take you to another time, place, and give you something to think about. The cd contains the single "More", a video they shot for, which featured on Europe's MTV and reached number 2 on the chart. Other interesting outstanding tracks includes "A New Life Story", "Orchidea", "Faith", "Stare", "To Tears and Flowers", "Sixteen Rings (For A Memory)", and the superb well done job re-make of Joy Division "Transmission" . Sophya shines because of their impressive range of ideas, moods, and the sheer musicality of the finished whole. This Israel/Holland band got it going on!


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Artist: ABSURD MINDS (@)
Title: The Cycle
Format: CD EP
Label: Scanner (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This well-known German trio hailing from Dresden returns with a new EP, but with 11 tracks it looks nearly like an album. 5 new tracks you’ll got to hear, 1 unexpected cover version ("Hurt" of NIN, musically both acts differ light years...), plus at all 6 remix works based on the both main and outstanding tracks, "The Cycle" and "I Feel Alive". ABSURD MINDS provide again their already known formula of melodic and detailed worked-out Electropop, dark textures and layers and a vocal performance near to old PROJECT PITCHFORK. They’ve grown through the years for sure and could develop to a musically pleasant and catchy result, "The Cycle" is a fine example. For this piece you’ll need only 2 – 3 spins until it has bitten hard in your mind, a real smasher in their known mid-tempo style. Four different remix works of "The Cycle" are also available here, among others acts like LEGACY OF MUSIC and DAYS OF FATE (very Goth-like...) have worked on it. Not a bad work at all, but nothing on here which reaches the quality of the original. "I Feel Alive" instead pushes higher the speed and grows to a real cool dancefloor filler, also the featured "Jones-Mix" turns this fine track into a real aggressive percussion feast – thumbs up! What is still a riddle for me, is the fact that Metropolis until now hasn’t picked up this item – as far that they were responsible for almost all previous releases for the North-American market. This one is definitively worth to get featured and heard in every corner of this world.
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Artist: JAPANESE GUM (@)
Title: talking silently ep
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Marsiglia (@)
Rated: *****
I imagine many of you never heard the name Marsiglia records but while producing mainly debut cdr for new bands, the label should have developed a sort of magic touch since it looks like most of the bands they put out sooner or later make it on bigger labels. Just to prove these guys can smell it when it's good: here we have a promising electronic combo coming out of nowhere. Hailing from Genova, Japanese Gum are totally into the IDM/electronic-pop scene and you can hear it strongly underlined in the five tracks of this ep. This debut release is still a bit rough like it was the pre-mastered version of a cd and also still to be focussed (above all for the sound of some loops or for some vocal solutions) but they definitely know how to write that king of songs/tracks. It's true, they write songs much more than tracks, that's why they end to be really poppy sometimes, above all if compared to the glorious IDM hey-days or even to the average electronic release, but it doesn't depend exclusively form the vocals. "Melodic, melancholic and british"...no, that's not the next definition for Radiohead (another good name to enclose in the list of influences together with Sigur Ros and Mum), it's just a short definition that fits really well with this mcd. Port Royal made it on Resonant after a cdr like this... will they have the same luck? Keep your eyes and ears open.
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